2017 L.A. Auto Show
We're on the floor of the 2017 L.A. Auto Show as the major players in the North American automotive landscape look to turn heads with their new car reveals. Here's what we've seen...
BMW charged up the crowd with the reveal of their i8 Roadster. The plug-in hybrid two-seater sports a power soft top that BMW claims will open in 16-seconds.
The Roadster is available for the first time alongside the updated i8 coupe, which sees the same 12-HP boost in power (369 total HP) and increased electric range of 18-miles.
The Bavarian brand also showed off the special-edition M3 CS. Still using the 3.0L twin-turbo I6, horsepower jumps to 453 while extensive use of carbon fiber make the CS lighter and faster than a standard M3. Expected to go on sale in May of 2018, a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is the only transmission option.
Responsible for creating the luxury 4-door coupe segment, the Mercedes-Benz CLS rolls onto the auto show stage all-new for the 2019 model year. Updated exterior and interior styling firmly places it in modern times with the rest of the MB lineup. The new in-line 6-cylinder engine produces 362-HP and recieves an additional 21-HP boost from a starter-generator.
The Lexus RX finally gets a 3rd row in the form of the 2018 RX 350L and RX 450hL hybrid. In order to fit the extra row, Lexus had to add 4-inches in overall length to the popular crossover.
After adding a row to its RX, Lexus deletes a row from its larger LX model. For the first time, the LX 570 will be available in two-row form in addition to the traditional three-row. A move that Lexus claims was prompted by listening to customers with a need for more storage versatility.
One of our favorite midsize sedans to drive, the Mazda6 shed its cover to reveal a significant exterior facelift and a revised suspension aimed at improving ride and agility as well as NVH (Noise Vibration and Harshness). The interior goes upscale, taking cues from decidedly premium-feeling CX-9 Signature. Additionally, the Mazda6 will now be available with the 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder, also from the CX-9.
More than a year since the release of the newly donned 718 Boxster and Cayman, the GTS variants make their debut. Updated engine bits increase the turbocharged 2.5L flat-four's horsepower to 365; 15-HP more than the 718 S. The GTS also comes standard with Porsche Torque Vectoring that includes a mechanical rear-differential lock, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the Sport Chrono Package. PDK equipped models are expected to reach 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.
The brand's stalwart 911 joins in on the fun with a purist-driven 911 Carrera T model. The 'T' stands for "Touring" and in addition to being the lightest of the current 911 models, it receives PASM and the Sport Exhaust as standard.
The 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo showed off its plug-in hybrid powers, which combine with the turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine to produce 680-HP.
Ford's premium brand dropped the MKX moniker and unveiled their new midsize SUV, the Nautilus. The exterior receives the signature Lincoln grille while the interior offers the available Ultra Comfort seats that we tested in the 2017 Continental. The 2019 Nautilus also debuts some Lincoln-first technology in the form of a new lane centering feature and evasive steer assist. Standard power comes from a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder, which can be upgraded to a 2.7L V6 turbo with 335 horsepower.
The compact crossover segment gets a new player in the 2018 Nissan Kicks. Utilizing a team effort from Nissan's design studios around the world, the styling uses several cues from the Kicks Concept. Aimed at city-dwellers, the Kicks comes standard with automatic emergency braking and a 1.6L 4-cylinder engine powering the front wheels. All-wheel drive is not available. Nissan estimates combined fuel economy at 33 MPG.
Despite its reveal a few weeks ago, the 2018 Wrangler still drove out onto the stage during Jeep's press conference. Styling remains familiar with only minor updates, whereas the big changes are focused on off-road capability. For the first time ever on a Wrangler, a two-speed transfer case with full-time 4-wheel drive and a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio is available on Sahara models. The 3.6L V6 engine is upgraded for 2018 and is joined by an all-new 2.0L turbo-4 and the 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel. A new six-speed manual is standard while an 8-speed automatic can be optioned on all Wrangler models.
Mitsubishi is bringing back the iconic Eclipse name, but this time in the form of a CUV known as the 2018 Eclipse Cross. As a compact crossover, the Eclipse Cross is smaller than the Outlander and uses a 152-HP 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 4-wheel drive. The interior shows off a new design scheme for the brand with an available 7" touch screen, touchpad controller and head up display.
Sticking with the compact crossover craze, Hyundai pulled the sheet off the U.S. production-ready Kona CUV. Anticipated to arrive in dealerships in the first quarter of 2018, the Kona offers two engines: a 2.0L Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder and a 1.6L turbo-4 that hooks to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which aids fuel economy. The all-new platform includes available AWD.
Continually trying to improve their performance credentials, Jaguar revealed the XE SV Project 8, which the British brand intends to put into production. Boasting 592-HP, the XE SV Project 8 is now the fastest four-door to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife with a time of 7 minutes and 21.23 seconds. That's 11-seconds quicker than the previous record holder.
Land Rover used its stage in Los Angeles for the global reveal of the 2018 Range Rover SVAutobiography and the N.A. debut of the 2019 PHEV Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The SVAutobiography goes for over-the-top luxury while the plug-in hybrid powertrains, set to debut in the 2019 model year, show a commitment to green technology.
As expected, Subaru showed off the production version of its Ascent SUV. The largest vehicle ever produced by Subaru, the Ascent comes in 7 or 8-passenger configurations and sits on the Subaru Global Platform. It's powered by an all-new 2.4L 4-cylinder boxer engine connected to a CVT and Symetrical All-Wheel Drive.
We've already seen the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, but now the fastest production 'Vette has a convertible version. Still packing 755-HP, the soft-top convertible adds less than 60-pounds of weight and can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph.
The 2019 Infiniti QX50 bowed its head in LA with a new body style and world-first technology that should make it competetive in the mid-size luxury crossover segment. Riding on an all-new platform, the big news is the world's first production application of a variable-compression engine. The 2.0L VC-Turbo can alter its compression ratio to optimize power and efficiency.
Toyota kicked off Day 2 of the LA Auto Show with a new concept called the FT-AC (Future Toyota Adventure Concept). The subcompact offers all-wheel drive and exhibits off-road capability reminiscent of the FJ Cruiser, but in a smaller package that looks to appeal to those living in urban areas.
A refreshed Sorento rolled onto Kia's stage with refined styling and new technology. Safety features such as Driver Attention Warning and Lane Keep Assist have been added as well as wireless charging capability. A new 8-speed automatic transmission is paired with the 3.3L V6 engine, while the 2.4L I4 receives an updated 6-speed auto. Kia has decided to drop the 2.0L turbo option for the 2019 model year.
In addition to the Sorento, Kia announced a new plug-in hybrid version of the Niro utility. Already a dedicated hybrid, the Niro PHEV will be the third plug-in model for Kia and offer an estimated 26-miles of all-electric driving range. The Korean brand expects total range to be about 560 miles.